Plea for patience as ducting installed

Fulton Hogan contractors have begun digging trenches in Taieri Rd, near Wakari Hospital, to house Aurora Energy's new underground power cables. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Fulton Hogan contractors have begun digging trenches in Taieri Rd, near Wakari Hospital, to house Aurora Energy's new underground power cables. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Motorists in Dunedin have been asked to take more care and drive more slowly past contractors building underground ducting for Aurora Energy's new 33kV power cables.

Fulton Hogan contractors are digging deep trenches in the middle of Taieri Rd for the underground ducting, which puts workers and machinery in close proximity to passing traffic.

An Aurora Energy spokeswoman said it was a safety issue not only for the contractors, but also for passing vehicles.

''Roadworks are everywhere at the moment and we always ask drivers to just obey the traffic signs and follow the directions.

''It always helps. Just be a little bit more patient - it's not the poor person holding the sign's fault. This is necessary work.''

The $5.6million project began earlier this month and will see the existing 59-year-old gas-insulated cables replaced with 3km of new high-voltage cables to take electricity from the Halfway Bush substation to the Smith St substation in central Dunedin, via Taieri Rd and Stuart St.

During the next 10 months, the contractors would be building underground ducting in the centre of Taieri Rd and Stuart St, she said.

Once the underground ducting was in place, Delta would pull new 33kV electricity cables through the ducting in sections, join them together and then connect them to the network.

The power will be converted to 6.6kV at the Smith St substation, for distribution to 2700 homes and businesses, from the Octagon to Highgate.

She said the project was expected to be completed by June next year, and was part of Aurora Energy's long-term renewal of the city's electricity network.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

Comments

This is the quote from Aurora Chair Stephen Thompson less than a year ago about the reliability of this very cable ... Aurora Energy chairman Steve Thompson in a statement said: "These allegations are without merit, and clearly exaggerated for effect to provoke unnecessary alarm.

The time for a new Chairman and a new board is long past.